Weekend of Craziness – ‘Sun, Snow & Skin’ – at Appalachian Ski Mtn. for Meltdown Games

Published Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 5:09 pm
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Appalachian Ski Mtn. posted this photo on Tuesday morning with the caption: Is it late March or January?! Peak season conditions and plenty of sunshine today!

By Jesse Wood

Appalachian Ski Mtn. is the last ski resort in the High Country to remain open, and this weekend, the Blowing Rock resort will host the annual Meltdown Games on Saturday and Sunday, March 26 and 27.

“We still should have a majority of our slopes open and coverage should still be pretty good, spring like with warm weather, soft snow, and it will be groomed well in the mornings,” ASM spokesman Drew Stanley said.

sps-600x252-1ASM made some snow during the last cold snap and made snow as late as Monday night. Traditionally, the resort closes after the Meltdown Games, but this is the first year that it has decided to stay open a little bit longer, perhaps through Saturday, April 2.

This is a testimony to the resorts ability to maintain excellent coverage in the face of warm weather in March, and the resort is known for always finishing the season strong, making it to the scheduled closing day with a solid base and most – if not all – slopes open.

In the past several years, Appalachian Ski Mtn. has invested $2.5 million snowmaking automation, snow guns, pumping capacity, and increased water storage capacity. In the optimal conditions, App Ski Mtn. can convert 6 million gallons of water to snow in a single day. It’s investments like these that allow Appalachian Ski Mtn. to consider remaining open in late March and even the first of April.

Speaking about these improvements and the conditions in the middle of March last week, Stanley had this to say: “We are definitely excited to still have great coverage on the majority of our slopes for guests to enjoy. Our commitment to constantly improving and adding to our snowmaking capability ensures we can maintain good base depths despite the unpredictable spring weather in the High Country. After a night or two of snowmaking, conditions should be excellent!”

Judging from ASM’s latest photos on Facebook, Stanley was correct. All three attached photos were taken within the week, and one was taken on yesterday.

The weather forecasts are nice for Easter Weekend, according to RaysWeather.com. Saturday is sunny with a high of 60 for Boone, and Sunday starts off nice with clouds and rain developing towards the evening.

Meltdown Games Schedule of Events

All of the Meltdown Game events are free with the purchase of a ski ticket, and right now, discounted end-of-season rates are in effect. Operating hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the rest of the year.

Registration takes place all day in the Alpine Ski Shop, and prizes abound.

“A full weekend of crazy events you won’t see any other time of the year, with lots of snow, sun, and skin,” one ASM promo reads.

Saturday, March 26


  • 10:30 a.m. – Impossible Box Contest
  • 11:30 a.m. – Cardboard Box Derby
  • 1:30 p.m. – Ski & Snowboard Big Air
  • 4 p.m. – Trash Bag Downhill Race

Sunday, March 27


  • 10:30 a.m. – High Ollie Contest
  • 1 p.m. – Pond Skim & Costume Contest
  • 4 p.m. – Chinese Downhill

 

 

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Utilizing some skier lingo, this is the “morning corduroy.” This photo was taken on Wednesday morning at App Ski Mtn. I reckon the slopes will be just fine for the Meltdown Games.

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This photo was taken on Monday morning. Mother nature and Appalachian Ski Mtn’s investment in snowmaking keeps the slopes open well into March.

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